WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — CBS 2 started asking questions, and it sparked an internal investigation within the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has obtained the photos that have the department asking its own why they may have been eating inside a local restaurant – despite Gov. JB Pritzker’s orders not to.
Photos taken in front of the Verdict Restaurant in Wheaton were sent to CBS 2 this week. They show a DuPage County Sheriff’s squad car, along with the department’s community service volunteer, parked in front of the restaurant.
“We are right across from the courthouse, so the 99 percent of the people that are telling us to stay open work for the county,” said Verdict Restaurant owner Anna Sarantopoulos.
Sarantopoulous chose to keep serving inside despite the governor’s order to stop, and she acknowledges the DuPage County Sheriff’s personnel sat inside this week.
The department is only about a mile from the restaurant.
“I can’t babysit a law enforcement officer. Do you know what I mean?” Sarantopoulos said. “They came in to support the Verdict. You know what I mean? I’m not the one to say, ‘Oh I can serve everybody else in the community but I can’t serve you.’ That’s not my place.”
Late Monday, Sarantopoulous received a non-compliance notice from the DuPage County Health Department. She was threatened with a misdemeanor if the struggling restaurant continues to serve inside.
“Our question is why us and not all the other the surrounding restaurants in the area?” Sarantopoulos said. “We’re trying to keep our staff. We’re trying to keep all our employees. We’re trying to pay the rent.”
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Department said after we asked about the photos, an internal investigation started
“They have a boss. They have their own bosses. If the bosses wanted to tell them, ‘Do not go into any of the local restaurants,’ then they should have,” Sarantopoulos said. “Their boss should have reiterated and said, ‘Hey guys, be careful where you go eat.’ But not me. Not my place.”
The DuPage County Health Department said they have contacted 13 restaurants in the area for indoor dining complaints.
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